I recently read Heller’s biography of Ayn Rand, because I kept seeing that Republican’s in Congress were insisting that all their staff members read her work, and it’s been years since I read her books. A small piece of her philosophy is the idea that for great men, who are rational and self-interested (in her carefully defined good selfishness way), “conflict of interest” is an impossibility. Her thinking has had an enormous influence on conservative and Republican thinkers. Anyone who idolized Rand and subscribes to her philosophy as if it’s a religion needs to read this book. She was clearly brilliant in the realm of logical argument. However, her fundamental premise that humans are always rational, is so flawed, it’s difficult to see how so many have bought into the elaborate edifice she created on this premise. She was also clearly lacking in emotional and social intelligence, which is likely why she deemed these realms of human behavior inferior. She was pathologically narcissistic, and unable to perceive the emotions of even those she loved. She carried on an affair with a protege 20 yrs her junior for over 14 years, and couldn’t understand that this might take an emotional toll on both their spouses. She insisted that they make love in her marital bed, booting her husband out of the house for their liaison’s, so that her acolytes would not know. Hardly a life of integrity. When her lover took a lover, he couldn’t tell her the truth, and made up a lie about being impotent. She couldn’t see wgat was going on even when it was right in front of her, and they gnawed away for 100s of hours on the lie and peripheral issues. Yet this woman’s writing has been enormously influencial on the right.